I KNOW A WOMAN WHO HAS BEEN JOURNALING FOR OVER 30 YEARS
I know a woman who has been journaling for over 30 years. She has journaled through the ups and downs and the everyday. Her journals have been one of her companions throughout this journey called life. Journey, journal, jour, day… As the name implies, “jounaling” is about our journey and our day to day.
She started journaling in her youth. One day she received two beautiful gold rimmed blank notebooks. Blank pages, perfect for sketching, but she didn’t draw, she loved words, so naturally words would fill the pages. She started writing, not knowing exactly what she was doing, or where she was going, only that she was drawn to record what she saw and felt and lived.
Her journals took her into her teens and young adulthood. Though she was a silent witness to many occurrences in her environment, no one around her seemed to know that she too could be affected by what she saw and thus experienced. But her journal knew and listened wholeheartedly. And, strange to believe, this small inanimate object could be so healing, not only did it accept her every word without argument, but somehow also offered up solace and solutions.
As an adult, her writing continued, sometimes becoming more lyrical, at other times more disjointed, often reflecting her circumstances. As life became busier, sometimes her journaling became more sparse, the writing less carefully written, the page less full. She would journal less maybe, but not with less passion.
She realized that life is not all ups and certainly not all downs. There is a lot of in between time; the mundane, repeated routines of everyday living. This also made for great inspiration. The journaling made the ups, the joys and pleasures, more pleasurable. It took the downs and helped her to push through them. And in the mundane, it accompanied her and kept a record of what life was like at every juncture.
Recently a hurricane of a storm hit her, pulled her down into peace- less nights full of questions. As always she pulled out her journal and began. The first entries all seemed to dance around the theme of “Why, why, why”. The next series of entries were of the “I hate this” and “I hate that” kind. And slowly, as time went on, if we were to analyze these entries, which we won’t, we would see that the next group of entries were about “ah, I see”, and “oh I get it”, and “I think this will help” and “let me try this” and “I feel so much better”. A clear evolution was apparent into more peace, answers, and clarity.
This continued on for 35 years. Today she has a pile of journals. Pile them all up, multi-colored, multi-dimensional full of her life and private thoughts. I know this woman well, she is me. This writing is so important to who I am and have become that I now lead journal-writing circles encouraging participants to write and feel and heal and be and live their wonderful lives, one page at a time.